three last centuries, may observe, how, from the lap of luxury and effeminacy, have sprung the most tender virtues, humanity, benevolence, and toleration of human errors. They may contemplate the effects of, what was so improperly called, ancient simplicity, and good faith; humanity groaning under implacable superstition; the avarice and ambition of a few, staining with human blood, the thrones and palaces of kings; secret treasons, and public massacres; every noble a tyrant over the people; and the ministers of the gospel of Christ, bathing their hands in blood, in the name of the God of all mercy. We may talk as we please of the corruption and degeneracy of the present age, but happily we see no such horrid examples of cruelty and oppression.
Page:Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1775).djvu/32
AN ESSAY ON